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The Emirates Story

The Emirates Story

Emirates Airline – Building A Global Network

On 25th October 1985, Emirates flew its first routes out of Dubai with just two aircraft—a leased Boeing 737 and an Airbus 300 B4. Then as now, our goal was quality, not quantity, and in the years since taking those first small steps onto the regional travel scene, Emirates has evolved into a globally influential travel and tourism conglomerate known the world over for our commitment to the highest standards of quality in every aspect of our business.

Though wholly owned by the Government of Dubai, Emirates has grown in scale and stature not through protectionism but through competition—competition with the ever-growing number of international carriers that take advantage of Dubai’s open-skies policy. Not only do we support that policy, but we see it as vital to maintaining our identity and our competitiveness. After making its initial start-up investment, the Government of Dubai saw fit to treat Emirates as a wholly independent business entity, and today we are thriving because of it. The airline has recorded an annual profit in every year since its third in operation.

Continuing our explosive growth while continually striving to provide the best service in the industry is the secret of Emirates’ success. The airline's business includes:

  • An award-winning international cargo division
  • A full-fledged destination management and leisure division
  • An airline IT developer.

Inaugural Flight
Emirates Inaugural Flight

Flying to more destinations on more aircraft every day

With a fleet of more than 220 aircraft, we currently fly to over 140 destinations in more than 80 countries around the world, and our network is expanding constantly. Over 1,500 Emirates flights depart Dubai each week on their way to destinations on six continents. In recent years, Emirates has made numerous significant announcements regarding the future of its already state-of-the-art fleet.

In 2001, Emirates demonstrated its confidence in the industry’s future growth by announcing the largest order in aviation history, valued at USD 15 billion. A staggering 58 new aircraft, a mix of Airbus and Boeing, were to join the rapidly expanding fleet.

In 2005, Emirates announced the largest-ever order for the Boeing 777 family of aircraft - 42 in all – in a deal worth Dhs 35.7 billion (USD 9.7 billion).

At the 2006 Farnborough Air Show, Emirates signed a Heads of Agreement for 10 of Boeing’s new 747-8F aircraft, to be powered by General Electric’s GEnx jet engines, in a deal worth USD 3.3 billion.

At the Dubai Airshow in November 2007, Emirates announced a historic civil aviation aircraft order when it signed contracts for 120 Airbus A350s, 11 A380s, and 12 Boeing 777-300ERs, worth an estimated USD 34.9 billion in list prices. The agreement with Airbus comprises firm orders for 50 A350-900s and 20 A350-1000s, plus 50 options for the A350-900s. The first A350 will be delivered to Emirates in 2015. During 2010, in line with the airline’s strategic growth plan, Emirates significantly increased its order for new aircraft. In June at the Berlin Airshow, Emirates announced an order for an additional 32 Airbus A380s and in July at the Farnborough Airshow, 30 more Boeing 777-300ERs were ordered. The combined value of these orders is USD 13.4 billion.

In 2011 at the Dubai Airshow, Emirates placed the single largest aircraft order in dollar value in Boeing’s history when it requested an additional 50 777-300ERs, worth approximately USD 18 billion. The order also included 20 777-300 ER options valued at USD 8 billion, for a total of 70 aircraft valued at USD 26 billion.

Underscoring its incredible growth, the airline is currently the world’s largest operator of both the Airbus A380 and Boeing 777.

Emirates order-book stands at more than 300 aircraft, with a total value of approximately USD 138 billion as of June 2014. In combination with what is already one of the youngest and one of the most modern fleets in worldwide commercial aviation, this commitment to the future reflects our goal to develop Dubai into a comprehensive, global, long-haul aviation hub.

In the financial year 2013/2014, Emirates carried 44.5 million passengers and 2.25 million tonnes of cargo. We look forward to a bright future in which we carry many millions more across a growing network of international destinations.